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Four arrested, 60 roosters seized in Palm River/ClairMel cockfighting operation, deputies say

Deputies say they found evidence of a cockfighting operation at a home in Palm River/ClairMel that was raided on Tuesday. [Hillsborugh County Sheriff’s Office]
Published May 22

TAMPA — Four people were arrested and about 60 roosters were seized during a raid Tuesday on a cockfighting operation in the Palm River/ClairMel area, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies obtained a search warrant and raided the property at 3727 S 70th St. at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. The property was fronted by a home with a fenced and gated yard.

The Sheriff's Office said it found evidence of a cockfighting operation, including cages and what appears to be an indoor arena. The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center took possession of the roosters and four dogs. Deputies also located a stolen firearm linked to a 2015 Pasco County case and a small amount of marijuana during the raid.

Those four people arrested each face a felony charge of possession of an animal for fighting and owning equipment for animal fighting. They were identified as: Irma Arcaya, 54; Lazo Fernandez, 71; Rogel Martinez Perez, 76; and Pedro Rodriguez, 54. Deputies are looking for a fifth person who also faces charges: Raul Gonzalez Torres, 37.

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